The North Central Accountable Community of Health uses data to inform our decisions and guide our direction as we plan, design, and implement health improvement projects in our region. Data analysis is a useful tool to:
- check our assumptions (is what we think is happening actually happening?)
- assess regional health needs and assets (where are our strengths and weaknesses?)
- highlight disparities (where do some groups experience better outcomes than others?)
- select projects and prioritize target populations (given limited resources, where should we focus?)
- identify key questions or gaps (what should we be thinking about as we plan and implement our projects?)
- monitor our progress and impact (are we on the right track? Are we having the intended impact? If not, how should we adjust?)
Data comes in many forms – it can be viewed via spreadsheets and maps, it can be heard via anecdotes, and it can be collected via surveys. It can be quantitative (something that can be counted and measured) or qualitative (opinions and views).
Both types of data are valuable and neither will give you a complete picture on its own. Any data should be used carefully to avoid drawing incorrect conclusions. That is why we rely on community partners to help us interpret and understand data as we use it as one of many tools in our toolbox.
One key data source for NCACH has been the 2016 Chelan-Douglas Health District Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which was conducted for the entire NCACH region and completed in December 2016.
We drew on this assessment as well as many data sources provided by the Health Care Authority to summarize our project application’s Regional Health Needs Inventory (RHNI). Find both of these documents to the right.
Much of the data that was provided to ACHs by the Health Care Authority cannot be shared publicly. Below, find some of our favorite public data resources for exploring health outcomes, needs, and disparities in our four county region.